Kershaw Knives is known for designing and manufacturing a wide range of knives. This range of knives includes pocket knives, sporting knives, and even kitchen cutlery. Kershaw is a brand of Kai USA Ltd. They are based out of Tualatin, Oregon.
This brand of knives was started in Portland, Oregon in 1974 when knife salesman Pete Kershaw left Gerber Legendary Blades to form his own cutlery company based on his own knife designs and styles. Their early manufacturing was mostly done in Japan. Then, in 1977, Kershaw became a wholly owned subsidiary of the KAI Group. Then, because they were getting so large and had so many people wanting their products, Kershaw moved their facilities to a larger production site in 2003.
Kershaw has collaborated with a wide array of custom knife makers over the years to produce all your favorite ground-breaking knives. Some of these collaborations include Ken Onion, who worked on Kershaw’s SpeedSafe knives, Ernest Emerson, Grant and Gavin hawk, Frank Centofante, Rick Hinderer, RJ Martin, and plenty of others.
When Kershaw was founded, they were founded to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to won, carry and use. This means that every Kershaw knife must be one of the highest quality. They say, “Whether it’s a hardworking pocket knife, a hunting knife, or a special collectors’ edition, Kershaw always choses appropriate, high-quality materials and is dedicated to intensive craftsmanship. Along with extremely tight tolerances and state of the art manufacturing techniques, this ensures that Kershaw knives provide a lifetime of performance.”
Kershaw also has a commitment to innovation and has actually pioneered the use of many of the technologies and advanced materials that are today standard in the knife industry. They say, “Our SpeedSafe assisted opening knives were first-to-market. We introduced the concept of knives with interchangeable blades in our Blade Traders. Recently, our Composite Blade technology, which combines two steels into one blade, gives knife users the best of both worlds by enabling us to use steel known for edge retention on the edge and steel known for strength on the spine. And we will keep on innovating, bringing new and better technologies and materials to today’s knife making industry and knife-using public.”
Today we will be discussing the Kershaw Faultline, which is one of their newest knives.
The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. You may have heard that 8CR13MoV stainless is basically the equivalent of AUS8A. And it’s true. For everyday use, even a serious “knife knut” would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a well-made 8CR13MoV blade and a well-made AUS8A blade. Nevertheless, there are slight differences in the steel formula. While most other components are relatively equal, 8CR13MoV has slightly more carbon for hardness and wear resistance and slightly less nickel. The key to blade performance for both of these steels is manufacturing quality. That’s where Kershaw’s expertise comes in. Kershaw precision heat-treats 8CR13MoV steel to bring out its best high-performance characteristics: the ability to take and hold an edge, strength, and hardness. This is a top-of-the-line Chinese steel that Kershaw believes offers their customers and excellent value.
The blade has been finished with a black-oxide coating. This is performed by a chemical bath that converts the surface of the steel to magnetite. Kershaw uses this coating on some blades, mainly for appearance, though it does add some corrosion resistance to the blade.
This is a very broad clip point blade. The clip point is one of the most popular blade shapes that you are going to find in our cutlery industry. This is an all-purpose blade that has the spine of the knife run straight from the handle before it stops about hallway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area is called the clip and looks as if it is cut out of the blade. On the Faultline, the clip is straight. Because of the clip, the knife has a lowered tip, which is going to give you more control when you are using this knife. And because the tip is more easily controlled as well as being sharp and even thinner at the spine, the clip point is going to excel at stabbing. The clip point also has a very large belly, which helps to make this knife an all-purpose knife. The belly is going to make slicing a breeze, which comes in handy in almost any area of knife using. The clip point does have one major disadvantage, which is that the tip of the blade is narrow and sharp, which means it is going to be prone to breaking easily. Because the Faultline has such a broad blade, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about the tip breaking. However, keep in mind that it will break more easily than a drop point would.
The handle on this knife is made out of GFN with a rubber over mold insert. Glass filled nylon, or GFN is a nylon synthetic polymer that is reinforced with glass threads for increases strength, stiffness, and dimensional stability that is combined with excellent wear resistance. The rubber over mold is a textured rubber layer that provides extra grip, usually molded over a solid handle, like on the Faultline.
The handle has a pretty simple shape that has been dramatized. The back slopes towards the butt, but the angle of the curve is a little bit harsher than you would typically see on a regular folding knife. The handle also has a very large finger groove, which gives you a safe and comfortable place to rest your fingers. After the finger groove, there is a large curve down the butt. This curve is also dramatized. The butt is squared off. And the finger guard is enhanced with the flipper mechanism.
The GFN is a darker green while the rubber over mold is black. The over mold is textured with large squares that have texture on themselves. GFN does not provide a lot of texture, so the over mold is the perfect companion for this handle.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip is a single positon pocket clip. This means that the handle has only been drilled to put the clip on in one direction. For the Faultline, that direction is on the right side of the handle for tip up carry. While some people do view this as a disadvantage, Kershaw makes up for it by making the clip a deep carry clip. This means that it is going to fit more snugly in your pocket, so you don’t have to worry about it falling out while you move around. Plus, since this is a tactical knife, the deep carry clip is going to help conceal the clip more easily in your pocket.
The clip is black, which matches the blade, the hardware, and the over mold. The clip is skinny and is skeletonized at the top slightly.
This is a manual knife that has no mechanical assist to open the folding knife. Kershaw says that it opens the class, old-school way. In terms of efficiently, this means that it is not going to open as quickly or smoothly. In terms of legality, the knife is going to be legal in the widest amount of states in the US. This is because it does not even come close to being an automatic.
To help you open the knife, it has been equipped with a flipper mechanism. This is a piece of the blade that protrudes out of the back of the blade that the user can pull back on, or flip up, in order to move the blade easily out of the handle. The flipper mechanism has plenty of advantages. The first one is that by its very design, it is an ambidextrous tool. Next, because it doesn’t protrude off of the blade, like a thumb stud does, you don’t need to worry about it getting in the way while you are using the knife. Also, once the knife is opened, it acts as a finger guard to further protect your hands during use. Lastly, the flipper keeps your fingers out of the path of the blade while you are opening and closing the knife. This means that it is going to be safer than the thumb stud, which puts your fingers pretty directly into the path of the blade. The only bummer about the flipper is that it does take a few runs to really get the hang of.
The Faultline is equipped with Kershaw’s KVT ball-bearing opening system. The Kershaw KVT ball-bearing system makes one-handed opening of your knife fast and easy—without the need for a mechanical assist. While SpeedSafe assisted opening uses a torsion bar to help move the knife blade out the handle, KVT relies on a ring of “caged” ball bearings that surround the knife’s pivot. (“Caged” means the ball bearings are secured within a ring that surrounds the pivot. It keeps the ball bearings in place, while allowing them to rotate freely.) When the user pulls back on the built-in flipper, the blade rotates out of the handle as the ball bearings roll in place. KVT makes one-handed opening quick, easy, and smooth as butter.
The knife is also equipped with a liner lock. When Kershaw is explaining their liner lock, they say, “The liner lock is the most common of today’s blade-locking systems. In knives with locking liners, the handle consists of two metal (usually steel or titanium) plates (the “liner”) on either side of the blade. Handle scales, which can be made from a variety of materials, such as G10, aluminum, plastic, or natural materials like wood or bone cover the plates. When the knife is opened, one side of the knife’s liner, often called the lock bar, butts up against the backend of the blade (the tang) and prevents the blade from closing. The lock bar is manufactured so that it angles toward the interior of the knife, creating a bias for the locked position. To close the knife, the knife user applies manual force to move the lock bar to the side so that the blade is unblocked and can be folded back into the handle. The liner lock provides a secure and convenient way to make using a Kershaw folding knife even safer.”
The blade on this knife measures in at 3 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4 inches long. The overall length of this knife measures in at 7 inches long. This is a pretty average size and weight of a knife, weighing in at 3.9 ounces.
When discussing this knife, they say, “This is the one you add to your truck box, toss in your go-bag, or slip into the pocket of your tactical pants. Everything about it says, “practical, reliable, and sturdy.” This right-sized knife fits comfortably in the hand, but offers a bigger blade than you might expect. The broad blade provides efficient slicing while the clipped point delivers good piercing capability. Made of quality 8Cr13MoV stainless steel, the Faultline’s blade is black-oxide coated to give it a tactical look while adding an extra layer of corrosion protection.
The handle is olive drab glass-filled nylon with a rubberized, super-grippy and textured over mold. Heavy jimping on the blade back adds additional grip. To bring this knife in at an adventure-ready weight, Kershaw adds an inset liner lock, which provides the blade-lockup security of a locking liner with less bulk and at a lighter weight.
The knife opens with a flipper and our KVT ball-bearing opening system. There’s no need for a mechanical assist; KVT makes it smooth and easy to open one-handed. A single-position, deep-carry pocket clip ensures the knife rides securely inside your pocket.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps for a great price that will give you a great knife.